When tested with a Niton XL3T XRF instrument in consumer goods mode this red vinyl “Made in China” vintage measuring tape (pictured here) had the following readings:
- Lead (Pb): 4,054 +/- 121 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 823 +/- 82 ppm
- Bromine (Br): 31 +/- 9 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 74 +/- 41 ppm
- Metals not listed were not detected, tests results are replicable – tests were done for a minimum of 45 seconds each to confirm the results.
From my earlier posts about vintage vinyl measuring tapes:
To learn more about XRF testing, Click Here.
Click here to see other vinyl measuring tapes I have tested and their exact XRF test results.
The reason this is truly concerning for me is because so many doctors give these to babies to play with when they are visiting the doctor office for their various checkups (and having their head circumference and other parts measured!) The amount of Lead that is considered unsafe in an item intended for children is anything 90 parts per million or higher in the paint or coating or anything 100 ppm Lead or higher in the substrate.
To see more items I have tested with an XRF instrument, Click Here.
Recently some doctors have switched to Tyvek style measuring tapes (not the heavier duty vinyl tapes like this one), which I have not yet tested for lead, but I think (educated guess) these are likely to be lead free (they are advertised as non-toxic and used by hospitals.)
I have had lots of conversations about this online with my friends, fans and followers and there seem to be quite a few alternatives that are likely also lead-free… including uncoated cotton fabric ones and paper ones (as well as the tyvek style ones noted above.) I was not able to find the fabric or paper ones on Amazon, but I believe many sewing specialty stores carry them.
Here’s an Amazon link to the Tyvek ones (now used in many hospitals) – the link is for a pack of 100 tapes.*
Here’s another link to one a friend of mine found (Thank you, Shelley!) … it advertises that it is lead-free/ eco-friendly. I tested this exact product and confirmed that it is in fact lead free and cadmium free (as are other products by this manufacturer!)
TIP: Items made for use by adults should not be given to babies to play with! Vinyl may or may not be leaded, so (in general) vintage vinyl items should be avoided and vinyl items should never be given to children to play with, especially children who might put these items in their mouths.
FYI: We have new vinyl windows that we had installed in our home in April of 2007. These are lead-free (as tested with an XRF), showing that not all vinyl contains lead, but again – it’s hard for most consumers to know.
For more #SaferChoices for your family, click here.
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As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Oh!!! mine are not red, but same kind of measuring tape, and they are old… so vinyl can contain lead? I will go research on your website… I covered my books with transparent vinyl… and the table… I hope your website can tell me if they are things I should take off of my books and table… thank you for helping us know what to use or get rid of if we do not want lead in our house.
I’m sure I going to learn a lot from your site. I have lots of corning ware from th 70s. I’m going to need to replace these things over time, but believe the damage is already done. So sad.